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Electric Light Orchestra - ELO Part II: Moment Of Truth CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

2.53 | 62 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Moment of Truth was ELO Part 2's second and final studio album. This album contained a few lineup changes. Both Neil Lockwood and Pete Haycock left the band. They were replaced by Phil Bates (guitars and vocals) and former ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt. In addition, former ELO violinist Mik Kaminski became a full member of the group. He had only briefly made a guest appearance on ELO Part 2's debut release of 1990. The album was also recorded with the London Session Orchestra.

This album is more or less a continuation of what Bevan was trying to do with their debut album: the intent of bringing back the classic ELO sound of the mid-to-late 1970's. I think he even succeeds more at this on this release than the previous one, although I feel the songwriting suffers from a lack of inspiration.

The album contains an overture and underture at the beginning and end consisting of only a string orchestra. It's somewhat similar in concept to ELO's Eldorado, except these pieces stand out on their own and are more complex and longer. Although there are three brief interludes inserted between different parts of the album, I don't sense any theme to it at all, musically or by lyric concept.

Moment of Truth is pretty much a selection of good pop songs with a good dose of filler. I don't think the production is quite as good as their last album either. Standouts include "Power of a Million Lights," "Voices," the fun little rocker "Don't Wanna," and "The Fox," an interesting song about a fox hunt from the perspective of the fox. Groucutt penned the latter song and sings it in the style of the Moody Blues' Ray Thomas. The rest of the material ranges from boring to goofy to plain dumb (like Whiskey Girls).

ELO Part 2 would continue as a band until early 2000 when Bev Bevan issued a press release indicating they were disbanded. Partially this was due to almost 90 percent of the songs they played live were ELO songs instead of ELO Part 2 songs. In 2000 Bevan sold his 50 percent share of the ELO name as well as the ELO Part 2 name to Jeff Lynne. With Lynne the full owner of the name, he legally prevented the rest of this band from using the name ELO Part 2 and so the remaining members renamed themselves The Orchestra.

This being the last studio release of an unusual ELO spin-off, it marks an interesting attempt to bring the classic ELO sound back from the dead. Although a mixed bag, it's not bad for a pop rock effort. Still, this is miles away from their progressive and art rock from the early 1970's. Recommended to open-minded ELO fans. Not recommended at all for any progressive rock collection. Two stars.

progaeopteryx | 2/5 |


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